Most fisheries tariffs to end under TPP pact / Nori among just 10 items to keep duties

[Japan] Tariffs on almost all fisheries products imported to Japan will eventually be removed after the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal comes into effect following the recent broad agreement by its 12 member countries.

Fisheries products imported to Japan include items largely from TPP member states. Consumers are therefore expected to enjoy a drop in prices following the tariff eliminations.

The Fisheries Agency on Friday held an explanatory meeting for prefectural government officials in charge of fisheries administration. According to the agency, tariffs will be removed on all but 10 of the about 350 fisheries items that were on the TPP negotiating table. The tariffs will remain in place for seaweed products, including kombu, wakame and nori.

For instance, the 7 percent tariff on fresh sea urchin will be removed when the TPP takes effect, while the tariff on frozen sea urchin will be abolished in its sixth year.

According to the agency, annual domestic production of sea urchin totals about 8,000 tons, while about 10,000 tons are imported.

The TPP member states of Chile, Canada and the United States are among the top five countries in terms of the product’s import volume.

Regarding imported seaweed, Chinese and South Korean products currently account for a large percentage, while imports from TPP member countries account for very little.

However, the agency decided to keep tariffs on seaweed products to protect the domestic industry because some countries that are not currently members of the TPP, including South Korea, may consider participating in the partnership in the future.

At Friday’s meeting, the agency announced that the central government will continue subsidizing the fisheries industry after the TPP takes effect.


View original article at: Most fisheries tariffs to end under TPP pact / Nori among just 10 items to keep duties

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